Alastair Cook's heroics amounted to nothing as Englad lost the first Test to India by nine wickets in Ahmedabad.
The valiant rear-guard at the Sardar Patel Stadium saw Cook pile up another big hundred (176), assisted ably by Matt Prior who notched up 91 off 225 balls. When their stand of 157 was finally broken on the final day, India cleaned up the next five for 50 runs.
England’s 406 all out in their second knock meant India needed to chase a paltry 77 which Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara made light work of.
India lost Sehwag in pursuit for a 21-ball 25 but needed only 15.3 overs to complete the chase. Pujara remained unbeaten on a fluent 41 that included eight boundaries.
The chances of a brave rear-guard being turned into a famous stalemate in this first match of four centred on Cook (176) and Matt Prior (91) on the final day.
But they could augment their combined defiance by only 16 more runs on Monday morning - and with their stand of 157 broken, England lost their last five wickets for only 50 in a lunchtime 406 all out.
Earlier, Cook and Prior had given England hope after following on 330 runs behind two days ago.
Both, however, fell in the hour to give Pragyan Ojha 4/120) and a match haul of nine wickets.
It was another case of England left with a mountain to climb in their second innings after folding against spin in their opening sequence.
But England captain Cook took comfort from the character his side showed to take the match to the fifth day.
“There was an outside chance: Matty and I knew we would have to do the majority of the work. We got closer and closer and knew India had done a huge amount of overs in the field as well,” he said.
“That was the inspiration this morning. It wasn't meant to be. We didn't get that partnership going as we did last night.
“There was a lot of character showed by the lads. They fought hard. We can take a lot from the second half of that game with the batting. We need to work hard so when we go to Mumbai we can start again.”
Meanwhile man-of-the-match Pujara said he was thrilled to be back in the national side after being on the sidelines because of injury.
“It's a great feeling,” he said at the post-match presentation.
“I was out for almost a year because of the injury and since I've been back I've been enjoying the dressing-room atmosphere.
“The ball was hard and coming nicely onto the bat. I had a lot of confidence after scoring a double hundred.”
The 24-year-old also paid tribute to India’s bowlers who, according to him, had to put in a little extra to finish the job.
“I think initially (the pitch) was quite slow but as the game progressed the ball was coming nicely onto the bat,” he said.
“I would like to congratulate our bowlers on the way they bowled and kept their patience to get them out twice.”